Category Archives: Shows/Publications

two milestones marked

“Tabula Memoria” is done. You won’t see it though until it’s mounted πŸ™‚ I’m taking a much needed break from the studio and from the Dayjob for the next week or so. (We gotta “get out of Dodge”, as it’s Calgary’s Stampede Week.)


And i’m featured at one of our favourite magazines: HandEye.


sampling notes, and a belated Happy Ma Day

Featured with other UberTalents, on TextileArtist again!

And previously there: Part One and Part Two

Mother’s Day week at the ffFlower Mines was exhausting. I’m rejuvenating today by doing yard work in the morning–fresh air and exercise clearing the beds, and going to an estate sale with a friend in the afternoon to clean out an apparently mind blowing thread stash.

Too busy to “stage” that above arrangement properly!


“Original Truths” in true colours

Original Truths_full view_arlee barr_2016

Original Truths_detail view 1_arlee barr_2016

Original Truths_detail view 2_arlee barr_2016We hung the exhibit today at ACAD’s “371 Gallery”, and finally i am happy with the photos of this piece!

at the 371 Gallery ACAD


Original Truths, almost done

I thought i had been working on this for months, but as it turns out since “res” was done at the end of June, it hasn’t been that long after all. All the little details are what makes it seem longer ago than July 11th that i started it! I have only a few tiny areas left to stitch, then to back it, ready for delivery on the 28th.

As i said in a previous post, i’ve always felt alien, outsider, misfit, so this then i guess is a self portrait of sorts, another side to the mirror, that long path behind the subconscious.

I added bees, of course i added bees.

Donna Noble: You’re saying bees are aliens?
The Doctor: Don’t be so daft – not all of them.

I love Dr Who:)


The Feminine Monarchie

And there’s a secret hidden under one of the larger hexes, a treatment i liked, but not for this piece!


The hex beside the lace rose is where it’s hidden now.

hiding hex

ot aug 21 almost done

And now there will be a shuffling of papers, folding of fabrics, and paint and ink splashed about as i research and develop new work. Here’s a “mood board” for something i’d like to do:

mood boardwith this as the primary image:

winged 1

winged 2Not sure which orientation to begin with, not that it really matters as there are 2 separate cloths here.Β  Maybe i’ll do both to give myself a break from the same thing over and over —HA, joke. I had originally thought of doing another “abstract”, rather than pictorial, but nothing is set in stone.


push pull

There are no machine made nodules, no “dimension” beyond the tactility of the stitching, but elements of my overly ambitious plans for something else have crept in and settled comfortably.

To hell with “Concept” as i said in an earlier post. I’m tired of trying to write statements that explain WHY i did something, especially when a well written tailoring can adapt almost any piece to any show. Concept can be in the eye of the beholder as well, right? As we develop our style, our voice, whatever you want to label it, certain truths and ideas, interpretations become self evident don’t they. (Not a question, a fact.)

se contextural

When you make 8 pages of notes and sketches, and still can’t quite “git ‘er done”, it’s not the right time for that CONCEPT.

So, this then is the piece i will be exhibiting. Finally titled also as “Original Truths”, since i went back to what i love and love doing. No influence from anything else, any other artist, just me. This *is* me on the other side of the mirror. I’ve heard it said that when an artist draws faces, unless in a deliberate style, that elements of their own face, or their internal guise, are more evident, so though i’m not completely sure what this says about myself, other than the feeling that i have always felt alien, outsider, misfit, stranger in a strange land.

Though most of it is done, there’s something missing. I shall have to pin it up and stare at it for awhile.

OT aug 16 almost done

I need to pull some of the starker white to the left top somehow, but how? Not more hexes, too heavy handed then.

It’s also been a bitch to photograph—-i need that perfect afternoon light, because otherwise there is too much yellow imparted to the golds and browns in this. I’m happy with the detail shots, but the whole, not so much. Since it *is* not quite done though, i’ll worry about that later. The detail shots are good enough to submit to the show organizer.

OT aug 16 detail 1

OT aug 16 detail 2

There are 12 days until the exhibit gets set up, so hopefully i can finalize a solution to what’s missing, execute it, and photograph the whole properly.


hard favoured

simple moon

A simple shape, unadorned, plain, unassuming, no clear path, unstoried.

Just a start. Some desire the fade into the background, don’t want attention on a personal level, but imperfect circling, coiled spring, comforting ensphere goes round and round only, nowhere. Just an end. Ouroborous unbound, the ultimate allegory.


small exhibits: somewhat tongue in cheek, and “copying”

The National Gallery of Contemporary Fibre Art is a chance for all of us to produce small works and set up a display, complete with postcards, bio and statement, samples etc. Unfortunately, it’s not very visible to the public, buy hey, it’s a heck of a good way to “practice” and show is show ! It sounds so fantastic! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ In real life, it’s a showcase on the 4th floor of the Studio Arts , and is only visible to residents, techs and anyone who has a valid visitor pass! I’ll take photos the next time i’m at the school so you can see it in all its glory πŸ˜‰

Since i had been planning on some red/black/white work and scored all that fabric from the student cast off bins, it was a perfect opportunity to showcase some new ideas. The original photo was this, from 2011 (mine, original Original lost in a hard drive crash, so i have to work from a small version):
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI “warmed up the temperature” in my photo editing program (Irfanview):

Cropped it,as i have time for only a small portion of this, due to time constraints and sampling efforts:

Turned it to black and white for pattern purposes:


And started chopping fabric, discharging, over dyeing–from 3 fabrics then (bottom fabric in each pile), i have 10 colours (though in the photo, the top reds look similar, they *are* different). The left red and the bottom black were a poly/cotton blend after all, but i like the effect the discharge and then overdye had on the black!

red experiment fabricsΒ  They do not “match” the reds and red blacks in the photo, but that isn’t the point. And interestingly, some fly by brainlet on the QA mailing list pontificated that you were “copying” even if you used your own photograph!

Seriously, you think you are “copying” even if you used your own photograph??????? Why would that be any different than using your own sketch, your own notes???????????? I HARDLY consider it “copying” myself if i use my own source material, no matter WHAT medium i have “sketched out” the idea in.

A rather narrow viewpoint then, if no one can take inspiration from what is around themselves, be they photographer, sculptor, painter or textile artist…….Contrary to this belief, things do not spring “full blown from our sweated brows”!Β  She also made the comment that the old Masters just DID the painting, no models, no “copying” from nature, no studies, BULLSHIT. Why else do we have all the preliminary sketches we are able to see now of pre-work done?????

Now to select some threads.